The new look All Blacks got turned over to often by a committed France and went one down in the two match Iveco series in Dunedin today.
Early penalties had the score at 3-3 on 12 minutes as avery rusty new look New Zealand found it hard to match Le Blues at the breakdown. Then the game sparked up for the French as Francois Trinh-Duc broke through some weak cover to dot down near the posts on 18 minutes, Julien Dupey added the conversion and it was 3-10. 27 minutes and the ruthless French extended the lead as William Servat crashed over again the conversion was made and the French looked to be running away with the game at 3-17. A penalty by Stephen Donald closed the arrears on 39 minutes and then a cheeky kick over by Jimmy Cowan was picked up by Cory Jane and Liam Messam was released to score out wide, the conversion was missed so the half time was a more respectable 11-17.
The second period and the Blacks needed to score first and this they did with penalties by Donald on 49 and 57 minutes to tie the score at 17-17. The game was now becoming more even though the powerful rush defence by the French was causing problems for the Blacks amd they went back to go forward on more than one occasion. The next chances came for France as Dupuy missed a penalty on 61 minutes but converted one on 65 minutes to take France back in front 17-20. Then on 71 minutes the game went away from the Blacks as an interception by Maxime Medard led to a score under the posts and with the conversion a lead of 17-27. Ma’a Nonu did manage to get a late try on 75 minutes to close the gap to 5 points but the clock ran down. So first blood to the French flare and defence with the final score of:
New Zealand 22 France 27
Tries: Messam, Nonu Pens: Donald 4
Tries: Trinh-Duc, Servat, Medard Cons: Dupuy 3 Pens: Dupuy 2
New Zealand: Muliaina (captain); Rokocoko, Toeava, Nonu, Wulf; Donald, Cowan; Woodcock, Hore, Tialata, Thorn, Ross, Read, Thomson, Messam.
Replacements: Mealamu, Afoa, B Evans, Latimer, Weepu, McAlister, Jane.
France: Medard; Heymans, Bastareaud, Traille, Clerc; Trinh-Duc, Dupuy; Barcella, Servat, Marconnet, Pape, Millo-Chluski, Dusautoir (captain), Ouedraogo, Picamoles.
Replacements: Szarzewski, Domingo, Chabal, Martin, Yachvili, Jauzion, Palisson.
Referee: George Clancy (Ire)